Nudity. Wars. Dragons. Oversize egos. General displays of badassery: These are the things Game of Thrones is known for. But there's one particular aspect of the HBO show that can be appreciated by beauty lovers: the excellent braids. Worn in ponytails, half-ponies, buns, crowns, boho styles, and more, the ladies (and gentlemen) of the Seven Kingdoms are masters in hair plaits. On a functional level, it keeps hair out of their faces when fighting battles, eating raw horse hearts, or participating in activities with whores. On an aesthetic level, they are damn pretty. Now that the season finale is over, let us help you overcome your Game of Thrones withdrawal. Click through the slideshow to see some of the best braids that have been shown thus far in all three seasons (There are plenty of spoilers ahead.)
Season 1, episode 1: It's the day of the royal court's arrival at the Stark family castle. And Sansa's center-parted, tightly woven braids create a look that says, "Welcome to Winterfell, y'all."
Season 1, episode 1: Remember when Arya Stark acted properly, like a true daughter of a Lord?
Season 1, epsiode 1: Another reason for sibling rivalry. Braid wars.
Season 1, episode 1: Hair as veil.
Season 1, episode 1 and 9: "When you're one of the most feared warriors in the Seven Kingdoms and machete people's heads off for fun, a braided look is one way to keep your hair out of your face." —excerpt from Warrior's Guide to Style by Khal Drogo
Season 1, episode 3: Irri, Dany's handmaiden, can not only whip the Mother of Dragons' hair up into a wicked set of plaits, but she can also sense when there's a baby brewing. Here, she calls Dany out on brewing a tiny Khal Drogo.
Season 1, episode 1: If you live the kind of life (like Ros, here) where bedhead is an occupational hazard, then having giant boobs to distract helps.
Season 1, episode 1: In the same episode, she witnesses her husband making out with someone else (left) and then gets spotted by Bran Stark whilst getting busy with her brother (right).
Season 1, episode 7: This intricate, yet sturdy look is perhaps a symbol of her regal role to be.
Season 1, episode 2: Life can be so boring when your mistress is off hob-nobbing with her brother. Why not spend the time perfecting each other's woven locks?
Season 1, episode 3: Those Stark girls really love the split-braid look. Even when they have to say good-bye to departing family members.
Season 1, episode 4: No one throws shade like Cersei.
Nipple Covering Braids
Season 1, episode 5: Before nipple tassles, there were soft, swishy tail ends of hair.
This Can't be Good Braids
Season 1, epsiode 7: Cersei, your husband is dead and your twat of a son has now taken the throne. At least your hair looks good.
Season 1, episode 9: How does Sansa wear her hair the day of her father's beheading? In a hefty crown of braids that says, "I got my head on straight."
Creepy Mom Braids
Season 1, episode 8 and 9: Lysa Arryn still breast-feeds her tween-age son in public. Enough said.
"You Call That a Braid?" Braid
Season 1, edpisode 9: Things are pretty nutty North of the wall. Maybe this is their take on braids: a hot mess.
Whore to Handmaiden Braids
Season 1, episode 9 (left) and season 3, episode 1: Shae is not just any whore. Tyrion Lannister is in love with her and Sansa Stark trusts her. That means keeping her boobs under wraps (most of the time) along with pretty, boho braids.
Season 1, episode 9: It's a good thing Dany's hair is usually pulled back in her signature pleated do. You never know when you have to eat the heart of a stallion.
Angry Crowd Braids
Season 1, episode 9: There's no way the production team included enough hairstylists to fix all the extras' hair. Chances are they were all lined up in a row and forced to braid each other's hair.
Losing My Head Half-Pony
Season 1, episode 9: Okay, not a braid but we can't not discuss Ned Stark, who managed to wear his signature half-pony look even on the day of his beheading.
Season 1, episode 10: If the terrible, rotten, no-good man-child king is going to force you to look at your father's head on a stake, then you're going to go for a look that's top heavy on the braids. "Sorry, king, can't look because my hair's too heavy."
Top Heavy Braids
Season 1, episode 9: Cersei shows Sansa the latest in big hair.
Most Badass Moment Braids
Season 1, episode 10: Dany walked into her husband's burning funeral pyre and walked out unscathed with dragons perched on her shoulders. Slow clap.
The Other Woman Braids
Season 2, episode 1: This lovely forehead braid belongs to the unfortunate whore whose bastard child belonged to the King Baratheon, now dead.
Season 2, episode 1: She's been walking for weeks in the desert, but her disheveled braids still look pretty rad.
Season 2, episode 4: Halo braids, totally in at the royal court right now.
Sheisty Sister Braid
Season 2, episode 2: Who tries to seduce their own long-lost brother just to prove a point? Yara Greyjoy with asymmetrical plaits.
Strategic Planning Braids
Season 2, episode 3: Lady Stark's singular, very thick braid means business. Like, Lannister-killing business.
Season 2, episode 3: Let's gaze at Melisandre's red hair, her milky white skin, her ability to shed her dress and display her slamming, ageless body. (Does this woman own underpants?)
Season 2, episode 3: Oh, the secrets and sneakiness Margaery's braids hold.
Season 2, episode 7: This is when Ygritte was captured by Jon Snow and forced to walk around endlessly behind him. No better way to pass the time than ensuring your braids are in check.
Oh Thank God Braids
Season 2, episode 10: That moment when you find out you no longer have to marry the king who had your father beheaded. Behold Sansa's joy, in the form of split ponytail plaits.
Season 2, episode 5: Lady Stark has just witnessed a smoke cloud murder a king's brother. A DAGGER-WIELDING SMOKE CLOUD. WTF. Even still, her hair is nice and tight with nary a plait undone. That's a true lady move.
Dragon Power Braids
Season 3, episode 1: Daenerys's loose bits are usually curled into pretty tendrils, but she's been locked up and her handmaiden was killed, so we'll cut her some slack for the slighty unkempt look.
Boo Yah! Braids
Season 3, episode 4: Guess who speaks fluent Valeryian, owns three dragons, your entire army, and can nail a double-temple braid? Yeah.
Season 3, episode 4: While Missandei's own hairstyle is less of a braid and more of a decorated solo-dread, she is now a handmaiden and confidant of Daenerys. We hope this doesn't mean she'll be messing up Dany's beloved braids.
Season 3, episode 4: Renly is dead and now Margaery's moving in on Joffrey. The tighter the twists, the sneakier the plans.
Season 3, episode 2: Sansa (right) starts wearing her hair in a looser style, like Margaery (left), who just cannot be trusted. Don't do it, Sansa.
Season 2, episode 3: Despite the fact that Myrcella Baratheon's true father is most likely also her uncle, she's completely owning the show's version of music festival hair. Way before her time.
Season 3, episode 2: Talisa is not from the North but ends up seducing and marrying the king of the North. Was it true love? Now we'll never know. R.I.P. Talisa.
Sad Wedding Braids
Season 3, episode 8: It's the return of Sansa's halo/crown braids from season 1, the same period when she watched her father get beheaded. Fitting then that she'd return to such a hairstyle for her arranged marriage.
Studly Man Braid
Season 3, episode 8: Daario swears his army, life, and heart to you. Also shows he knows his way around some legit braiding skills. Swoon, Deanerys, swoon. They don't make them like that anymore.
Emotional Showcase Braids
Season 3, episode 9: This is a pretty horriffic way to go: to get stabbed in the belly while pregnant. Having all of her hair pulled back certainly frames Talisa's shock face rather clearly.
Season 3, episode 9: Your daughter-in-law and son were both killed right before your eyes. You, too, will have only seconds before your own life is taken. But for one brief moment, you're still the badass Lady Stark who's managed to keep her do in place, all the while dealing with an arrow piercing through your chest.
"You Can't Buy Me" Braids
Season 3, episode 10: Shae is a prostitute-cum-handmaiden with a heart of gold. And she cannot be bought and sent away, regardless of how many diamonds you give her.
Season 3, episode 10: What do you do when the man you thought you loved isn't the man you want him to be? You shoot him in the back with some arrows. Bravo, Ygritte.
Season 3, episode 10: Cersei's hair is always a vision of conniving perfection. Which is good for that unexpected moment when your MIA brother/lover walks in the door.
"Oh No He Didn't" Braids
Season 3, episode 10: One does not cross Melisandre. Just look at her temple braids glowing by the fire's light.
"We are the Champions" Braids
Season 3, episode 10: Only the Mother of Dragons can sack a city, release all of its slaves, and still have perfect hair.
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